Copyright in South Africa

Luke AlcottCopyright law, News, South Africa

In South Africa, IAF member Academic and Non-Fiction Authors’ Association of South Africa (ANFASA) has been challenging proposals in the Copyright Amendment Bill (CAB) that circumscribes the rights of authors (see our previous statement on CAB here).

CAB has been approved by both Houses of Parliament but President Cyril Ramaphosa has not yet signed it. For three years, ANFASA has fought hard for authors whose rights have been undervalued in the current version of CAB, making constant efforts to lobby and educate decision-makers on the risks CAB poses to the authors and publishing industry of South Africa. Major concerns have included the unlimited scope of exceptions CAB might allow; as part of a balanced copyright framework, exceptions must be measured in their approach to ensure they benefit both creators and users.

IAF has supported ANFASA in its efforts, arguing the case for a measured approach to the changes suggested to copyright and exceptions in CAB. ANFASA has faced a challenge that is increasingly common where counter-campaigners claim that undermining copyright is in the interests of creators. To address this, ANFASA held a symposium on CAB that showed significant opposition to the amendments among working authors. A report from the ANFASA symposium can be found here.

Although CAB has been passed through Parliament, ANFASA and IAF will continue to campaign to ensure that it does not threaten the livelihood of authors in South Africa.